One of the things I love most about summers are the warm nights filled with drinking reckless amounts of alcohol while enjoy good music outdoors. In celebration of no longer having to bring a jacket or wear shoes, I put together a breakdown of the summer shows that I’m excited to see.
Phish – 7.3 and 7.4 at Jone’s Beach – Phish is playing a lot of NE shows this summer, but these are the only two shows that I’m going to make. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they are the best shows of the tour!
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr – 7.6 at Highline Ballroom – These guys have grown on me. Could be a fun show. I really like the Highline as a venue… it is a shame the bands they bring are usually lame.
Marco Benevento – 7.10 at City Winery Backyard – This is a free show in the “backyard” of City Winery. They do a whole summer series of these shows, but this is the only one that caught my eye. It is an early show that starts at 5:30 and ends at 7:30.
Furthur – 7.13 and 7.14 at MCU Park in Coney Island – I’m planning on taking the F train out to Coney Island to catch at least one night of the Furthur shows. Furthur is made up of Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the The Grateful Dead. Tickets are reasonably priced and this will likely be one of your last chances to see Phil and Bobby on stage together.
Blitzen Trapper – 7.15 at Music Hall of Williamsburg – I love the first album that this band put out, but I wasn’t that into the second album. I saw them live right after the second album came out. It was a good show but not a life changing show. It will probably be a game time decision if I go to this one. Music Hall is a great venue for the band. Either way, I’d definitely recommend checking out their album Furr. It is a great album!
Hot Chip – 7.18 at Prospect Park Bandshell – I’m really excited for this show. If you are a fan of LCD Soundsystem, I’d recommend checking these guys out. I just listened to their newest album for the first time this morning. I enjoyed it. They are also playing at show at Terminal 5 on Friday 7.20; however, Prospect Park is a much cooler venue to see these guys than Terminal 5.
Yonder Mountain String Band – 7.18 at BK Bowl – We might try to head over to BK Bowl after Hot Chip to see Yonder; however, it probably isn’t very realistic. I kept them on the calendar because they are as good as it gets in the “newgrass” genre. Hopefully the timing works out so we can catch the second set.
Wilco – 7.23 and 7.24 at Prospect Park Bandshell -I’m a big fan of Wilco’s early albums. The quality of song writing has gone downhill since Sky Blue Sky came out; however, they still put on a great live show. I have tickets for both nights. Hopefully they will play a lot of older stuff since they are playing for two nights. If you aren’t into Wilco, I’d recommend starting the following three albums: Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and A Ghost is Born.
The Head and the Heart (Free Show) – 7.27 at Prospect Park Bandshell – I was complaining to a friend that The Head and the Heart was the only band playing all of the major festivals this summer that wasn’t playing a show in NYC. I was pleased to find out they now have a FREE show scheduled at the Prospect Park Bandshell. They only have one album. I think it is cool. Listen to it. If you like, you should come to the show.
Old Crow Medicine Show – 8.6 at Central Park Summer Stage – As of right now this is the only Summer Stage show that I am planning on going to. Another great “newgrass” band that is worth checking out. These guys always attract a good crowd.
M. Ward and Yo La Tengo – 8/7 at Prospect Park – I’ve been a fan of M. Ward for a long time. His album Post War is my favorite of his albums and a great place to start if you want to check him out. I like the albums Transfiguration of Vincent and End of Amnesia as well. M. Ward is the “Him” in the band “She and Him” with actress Zooey Deschanel. I like M. Ward’s solo stuff more than the She and Him stuff, but it does seem like getting paired with a big name actress has been good for his career. I also think it is really cool that Yo La Tengo is the opening bad for the show. I hope they play Mr. Tough.